Book Reviews – April 2010

Drug Dogs #2
Dylan Chadwick
Drug Dogs #2 is a zine for folks who already know absolutely everything about hardcore, and it’s printed by the biggest nerd of them all. Like the writing of anyone else who considers themselves to be an underappreciated scholar, Chadwick’s words are thick with frustration and entertaining disdain for anyone who he thinks has bad taste, which, as it turns out, is just about everybody. He’s fiercely opinionated for sure, but he lays out his vicious arguments and loads of information with such clarity and obvious research that there’s no disagreeing with him. This issue has hilarious interviews with Knife Fight, Lion of Judah and Spoiler (who played in Justice and has done album art for Cro-Mags, Iron Boots and Slumlords). Chadwick is an artist himself, and this x-acto designed, xeroxed rag is full of brutal original drawings. In case you care even half as much about hardcore as Chadwick does, there are pages and pages full of zine, record and demo reviews. His story about playing air guitar on stage during a Suicide File set is vivid and brilliant. DD#2 even makes a few nods to Utah hardcore without being overly regional and finds a refreshing balance in its occasional mention of non-hardcore music. If you want a copy hit him up at or pick one up at any Tijuana Bible show. –Nate Perkins

I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s Wildly Inappropriate Adventures With the Last Republicans
Martin Eisenstadt
Faber and Faber, Inc.
Who the hell is Martin Eisenstadt?  Does he exist?  Could he be the driving force behind so much political drama and controversy?  This book claims to answer all of these questions.  Martin Eisenstadt has been rumored to be a fictional character that has served as an advisor to McCain and Giuliani, a political pundit who has managed to be in the room or have his hands in every political scandal that has unfolded in the last 30 or so years.  Eisenstadt’s very being was called into question after having leaked a rumor that Sarah Palin thought Africa was one large country.  In his book, Eisenstadt defends his identity by giving a very detailed description of his life, political ties and influence on the very rotation of the earth (practically).  By dropping casual references to everything from Obama’s nasty coke habit to Joe the Plumber’s tryst with an SNL cast member.  The writing is so matter of fact that it is easy to question or consider that there may be some small seed of truth in Eisenstadt’s scandalous and satirical stories.  His writing is very funny, and if not convincing, he at least puts a fun spin reality.  I’m pretty sure that despite how far fetched some of his claims seem, they probably aren’t that far off from the truth.  It wouldn’t be the first time fiction has gotten mixed up with actual history.  –Ben Trentelman

One Million
Hendrik Hertzberg
Abrams Image
Street: 11.01.09
If you, like me, love random and generally useless factoids, then you, like me, will also love this book. Hendrik Hertzberg’s introduction alone left me wide-eyed and mind-boggled. The premise of the book? To demonstrate one million in a way that our puny little brains might just comprehend. A million dots, five thousand to a page, two hundred pages. And to keep it interesting, it’s littered with delicious and random facts corresponding with the number of dots on that particular page. Starting with, for example, 483 Americans killed in the Revolutionary war, 1796 homosexuals discharged from the U.S. military in 1983, moving onto the 426,525 kittens it would take to weigh as much as one blue whale, to 598,000 U.S. job cuts in January 2009, to the 835,138 people named Eric in the U.S, and finally to the 972,000 Armenians who disappeared from official population records between 1915 and 1916 (not a genocide, my ass). Ranging from entirely useless to technically quite educational, the facts in this book kept me reading through 200 pages of ... dots. I highly recommend it. –Ischa Buchanan